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Make the Whole World Hindustan
Interviewer: Why did you choose to go to America and propagate the teachings of Lord krishna in a Western country?
Prabhupada: Because Indian people, being subjugated for at least one thousand years, have lost their original culture. Being poverty-stricken, they are simply after money, by hook or crook. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam tayapahrta-cetasam. Persons who have lost their consciousness because of too much attachment to material enjoyment cannot understand krishna consciousness.
Interviewer: Oriental philosophies in general and krishna consciousness in particular have found a lot of devotees in the Western civilization. What is the main reason for this?
Prabhupada: You are thinking this is Oriental civiliza¬tion, but that is not the fact. The fact is this is human civilization. There is no question of East and West. Interviewer: Do you feel that your success in the West is an indication of the need being felt by the Western man that has been lacking in spiritual ideologies? Prabhupada: Yes. The Westerners are very intelligent and materially advanced. But spiritually they are not. Therefore, they are coming to me, a poor Indian. Not only me, any swami who goes, they crowd to him. Unfortunately, the other swamis go to exploit and cheat them. Neither do they know what is spiritual life, nor could they give it to them. For the last two hundred years or so the swamis have been going, but not a single person became a krishna devotee in the history of the Western world. But now we are giving Bkagavad-gTta As It Is, and hundreds and thousands are coming. Interviewer: Swamiji, it's been sometimes said that India has too much philosophy and the West has too much materialism. Where is the right balance in this modern world?
Prabhupada: The balance is that there should be a recip¬rocal exchange of gifts. What you haven't got, I give you; what I haven't got, you give me. Then the world will be united. But our India followed the principle of begging. "Give me men. Give me money. Give me wheat. Give me rice. Give me war materials." Simply begging. So we must give something. This is the first time we are giving something/ Otherwise, India was simply a beggar to the Western countries. For their technical education they are going to the Western countries, and when there is war, they are asking America, "Please give us war materials." And when they give war materials to Pakistan we become envious. We are lamenting because we have lost a portion of country as Pakistan and are fighting since then. This was a plan by the British government to divide them in such a way. They will perpetually fight. They will never be happy. But if you take this krishna consciousness movement very seriously, you can make the whole world Hindustan.6